When Glavin used to perform in-home euthanization on a typical day she would have euthanized five to six different animals. This would take a toll on anyone.
“It was a very emotional experience, for in-home it’s so beautiful and nice, but so expensive. If I can provide this for these animals and make them feel so peaceful and good, it’s not fair that there are dogs in shelters that get put down on a cold metal table” - Melinda Glavin.
When euthanizing for shelters Glavin has been put in some very difficult positions where she needs to put an old dog down that has been neglected. “That’s something that really rips at your soul” In some cases Glavin had to put down dogs that were not even old, they just simply had behavioral issues.
“They put me in a room and there were these three two year old dogs licking me in the face and I had to lay them all down next to each other and kill them all. It’s one of those things that breaks your soul”.
It was these experiences that really drove and inspired Glavin to do something big and Senior Tails was born. Senior Tails is a dog rescue for dogs that end up in shelters or have lived with a family that decides they can no longer take care of a senior dog. The goal is to give these dogs a happy end, however long that end may be. Through Senior Dogs Glavin ensures that the animals have good food, a loving family, and a suitable vet that is frequently visited.
Clairebelle (14), no teeth, sassy personality
Currently Senior Tails operates out of Glavins home and she can house at most 5 different senior dogs at a time, the goal going forward is to find other volunteers / caregivers who will open up their home for different senior dogs. Senior Tails will provide other caregivers with funds to cover the costs of dog food, vet visits, and other necessities to make the animals comfortable.
“If I have participating caregivers they would rescue a minimum of two senior dogs and if they do choose to get involved, I will provide funding for Vet visits, food, and other amenities. Once this is rolling it will help to make a bigger change around the world”.
Glavin says her least favorite thing about taking care of senior dogs is the accidents in the house, however this is to be expected and she completely understands. Glavin goes on to talk about her favorite thing about housing senior dogs “the love and appreciation that you get from a senior animal is unlike anything that you will ever receive. You feel from their soul they are grateful for you”
Truman (15), loves cuddling, flirty
There are three different challenges that Senior Tails needs to overcome to be successful, the first and most common challenge among projects is funding. “I want to make sure that each animal that I take on is going to get the care that they deserve. I just need funding before I can take on any new animals and before I can expand to have other people be caregivers”. Funding is especially important to Glavin when bringing in other caregivers, vet visits can be very expensive and since these are senior dogs they will most likely have problems and need to visit the vet more frequently. These costs will add up a lot.
Glavins’s second challenge is getting exposure for Senior Tails. Senior Tails is almost finished with their website, and they have just finished a logo too. Things are going in the right direction, Glavin believes that attending local dog meetups is a great way to help gain exposure for Senior Tails and could potentially be an avenue for finding the best caregivers.
The last challenge that Glavin is facing is the emotional side of Senior Tails. While Glavin has had a lot of experience with euthanization, it’s a lot harder to say goodbye to an animal when you have spent so much time with them. This is going to be a constant challenge for both Glavin and even future caregivers working with Senior Tails.
To ensure the dogs go to the best caregivers, Glavin plans on performing background checks on potential adopters. Ideally these will be done through applications along with zoom house tours. Additionally, she plans on doing vet checks to make sure that the dogs are going to the vet frequently.
Glavin’s goal is to eliminate the euthanization of senior dogs in dog shelters. It's an ambitious goal, but it is not entirely impossible. By starting locally she can slowly strive her way towards this goal, additionally all of the tools Glavin is using are helping. Soon Senior Tails website will be live, and on ShareYourself.org Senior Tails has raised $1,710 as of writing this, of their $20,000 goal. Glavin intends to also look for grants within the Philadelphia area to bring in more funding for Senior Tails.
“The only reason that I have got this far is because of ShareYourself. Before ShareYourself I had Senior Tails on other funding platforms. There is a personal touch that ShareYourself has over other platforms and it makes a huge difference”.
For others that want to help with Senior Tails you can donate to the project here. If you are unable to donate and you live in the Philadelphia area, Glavin encourages you to reach out if you have any interest in becoming a caregiver for Senior Tails.